Nike aren't pleased with PUMA. The sporting whale is going after the relative minnow for stealing their technology, or rather: ‘[forgoing] independent innovation’. The infringement case states that PUMA have looked over Nike’s shoulder and lifted their Flyknit, Air and cleat designs.
Specifically under fire are PUMA sneakers using IGNITE Proknit and Jamming technologies. Though the latter calls to mind adidas BOOST more than anything, Nike say its ‘fluid-filled bladder’ is a direct rip of their famed Air cushioning. With Proknit, Nike gets sassier. They say that ‘industry commentators’ (they mean sneaker bloggers, right?) noted that the textile was just ‘PUMA’s attempt to join “the knit craze” that Nike created,’ and go on to show a bunch of examples that allegedly support their claims.
With trends homogenising designs, claiming intellectual property in the sneaker world is tricky. Like adidas suing Nike for trying to monopolise knit tech, it’s likely this case will have no real impact. Although, as Forbes suggest, this could be more of a strategic move on Nike’s part to use up competitor resources. PUMA’s CEO is already unsure of the brand's ability to generate revenue growth in 2018, and Nike might be doing their damnedest to make it even harder for them.